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Old 08-28-2009, 02:59 PM   #19
Garth Jones
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 141
United_States
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Re: Student Intake Questionnaire

Ross,

Thanks for putting your intake form into perspective. I was, as I said earlier, a bit put off by the tone - but that doesn't mean that a selection process (on the part of both student and teacher) is not a good idea, it is. Personally, I like the idea of the interview much better, although in my experience, for whatever that is worth, it is often hard to decide on first meeting who will or won't be a good, long term student (of anything, including aikido).

In certain extreme cases it may be clear right off, but I think it takes awhile for somebody to either settle in well, or not. Some clubs I have belonged to (not martial arts) have a formal probationary period to handle this. The final decision on membership may be after a month, or even a year. Generally, though, I have found that people who do not really belong in our dojo simplly do not keep training. So far I have not had to ask anybody to leave.

I understand that you have limited space in your facility and that you are trying to select for students who will be good members and train regularly. We all want that, I guess, but some of the aikido people I know (me included) were not at all sure at first if the art was for them, but after awhile they were hooked. Your selection process (by form or interview) does not leave much room for that sort of student, but maybe that's all right, given that you are small, private dojo. As you said, there is a range of selectivity for different settings.

I really like your "approach to relationships" thought. If more people had that attitude the world would be a better place.

Cheers,
Garth

PS I recently had a student who approached me with a list of questions about the dojo - I was very impressed and that person is now training seriously.
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